Best Pain Relief Patch For You In 2018

By Walter J. Farrell | LIVING

Spending over 150 hours do in-depth research and thorough testing, we believe that the Bengay Ultra Strength, Pain Relieving Patch, Large Size is the best pain relief patch in this review. This pain relief patch can give the necessary relief and even more with 5% menthol as counterirritants, which distracts you from the pain. You can also expect the relief of the patch to last longer for extended comfort along the large size for optimum coverage of the affected area.

I love going outdoors!

Hiking, check.

Camping, of course!

Taking long walks, yes!

Joyriding, any time,

Going swimming, always ready.

It does not matter so long as I spend time with Mother Nature instead of being cooped up at home.

Do you?

You would know that it’s all fun and games until I feel my body protesting from all these activities.

If you also have this love and slight-hate with outdoor activities, I’m not surprised that you are also looking for safer and mess-free ways to deal with pain.

Of course, this is not just for us who are outdoor enthusiasts. At some point, we may have to undergo pain be it be because of our biological ailments or from work.

This review aims to help you choose the best pain relief patch at the lesser amount of time. There are many products in the market and having to go through them can be exhaustive, or you might have limited idea regarding the product.

So, let’s not prolong your pain and begin.

Best Pain Relief Patch

Pain Relief PatchPatch SizeNo. of PatchesActive Ingredient/s
Bengay Ultra Strength Pain Relieving Patch3.9 x 7.9 inches4Menthol (5%)
Tianhe Guteng Tiegao Pain Relieving Patch2.75 x 4 inches10Camphor (3.5%)
Capsicum (0.25%)
Menthol (3.05%)
Salonpas Lidocaine 4% Pain Relieving Maximum Strength Gel-Patch3 15/16 x 5 ½ inches6Lidocaine (4%)
Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patch4 x 2.75 inches5Camphor (80mg)
Menthol (24 mg)
Capsicum extract (16mg)
Icy Hot Extra Strength Medicated Patch3 15/16 x 7 13/16 inches5Menthol (5%)

How do they work?

Pain relief patches are also called transdermal analgesic, which are patches containing medications (active ingredients) used as a pain reliever. It is different but, at the same time similar to other topical pain relievers as the spray and gel.

It is similar to spray and gel pain relievers in a way that the patch is applied directly to the affected area. Pain relief patches are also not swallowed, in which the treatment is target straight to the pained area.

However, pain relief patches are different as it uses adhesives stuck on the skin containing the medication instead of being in liquid form. The patches deliver drug or ingredient up to the dermis layer of the skin to produce the relieving effect. 


​Buyer’s Guide

Who can use?

As this review centers on over-the-counter pain relief patches, their use is limited to particular pain such as insect bites, small cuts and burns among the other things.

The counterirritants (active ingredients), although not a solution to arthritis, can still provide relief from the pain. It causes deception to distract you from the pain brought by arthritis.

Pain relief patches may not be the cure for your pain. These patches, however, gives relief to different kinds of pain. Thus, many can benefit from this product.

Advantages

One of the most significant advantages of pain relief patches is the speed oof the relief. The patch is applied on the painful area, in which the medication targets the pain immediately. In effect, you might not need more medicines, especially if the pain is minor.

There is also steady absorption of the medication in the patch. You don’t need to take several oral pain relief pills, which makes the treatment a little safer for your digestive organ

How to Apply

Generally, you have to peel off the cover of the adhesive and stick it to the affected area. However, each pain relief patch has their direction for use. You need to check the time it will have to stay stuck on your skin and the frequency of using the patches.

There are also users who have sensitive skin. It is likewise important to consider your skin’s reaction to the medication and the adhesive. 

Buying criteria

1. Patch size

The pain relief patches have different sizes. There are those that are quite big to cover a large skin surface, while there are patches that are comparatively tiny. Depending on your need or the area of pain, you can choose the desired patch size.

2. Relief lastingness

As we have repeatedly pointed out from some of our reviews, it is also important that the pain relief patch last long enough for your comfort. Some of the pain relief patches are said to last for eight (8) hours. This time range can be enough to help you sleep through the pain.

3. Active ingredients

The pain relief patches have active ingredients that provide the treatment for the pain. It can me for warm or cold treatment, depending on which ingredient. The most common ingredient from these patches is the menthol that is the topical analgesic. Some of them have a combination of different ingredients. 

4. Adhesiveness

Since patches are attached to the skin, you might want a patch that can stick to the skin for the entire duration of the treatment. It is also helpful for the patch to be resistant to sweat, so it does not fall off. Hence, you can also take into account the adhesiveness. 


​How We Assessed & Evaluated These Pain Relief Patches

We divided our evaluation process in two phases--- research and hands-on testing.

For our research we first had our online data gathering through reading forum threads, visiting online sellers and websites of the manufacturers and other pertinent pages. It helped us understand the product and how it can give relief whether or not it is similar to other pain relief products.

To support our online research, we conducted further crowdsourcing information through offline research. We visited and talked to local vendors, pharmacists, pain relief patch users and carers to give us more understanding of the product.

By gathering the information, it has simplified our search and ranking of the product. We had about 15 different kinds of patches. Our research helped us form buying criteria and other considerations guiding us to have our top five products.

A more difficult challenge for us was the hands-on testing. After having our top five products, we had a team of testers to try on the products. It took us about two weeks to complete the testing because we want them to use the patches when there is actual pain.

Each of them has to try on the five products, which is why it took time. We let them record their experience and rate the product based on our criteria. We also asked them to point out what they like and dislike the product.


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Bengay Ultra Strength, Pain Relieving Patch, Large Size comes from a long line of pain relief products including gel, creams and rubs. Their products aim to provide two main advantages, (1) localized treatment and (2) speedy relieving effect.

Our testers deemed that this pain relief patch delivered their ‘promised’ effect. They disagree, however, on the level of effectiveness.

There are testers who think that the heat is warm enough to keep the pain at bay. They said that the warm sensation even last overnight allowing them to sleep soundly. It may be attributed to the 5% menthol that serves as the topical analgesic.

However, some of the testers think that the warmth cannot absorb deep enough for major pains. These testers prefer patches that are much stronger. Hence, all the testers agree that this product may be suited for less severe pain, depending on the user's preference.

What the testers love about this pain relief patch is its decent size. The patch has a dimension of 3.9x 7.9 inches, which is big enough to cover as much of the affected area. Some of the testers were even able to wrap in their arms, legs, and feet.

Leaving the product overnight, the Bengay Ultra Strength, Pain Relieving Patch, Large Size has good adhesiveness. The product did not come off after sticking to the skin for hours, which makes it convenient and less messy.

There were reports that the patches have excess goo that smears and transfers to your hands when applied. During the testing, there were no incidents of the medication coming off. Although, you can feel a slight wet sludge from the patches. 

What We Liked

  • Immediate warm sensation
  • Seems good for mild to medium pain
  • Large patch size
  • Good adhesiveness

What We Didn't Like

  • Seems to not be too effective on deep pains
  • Slight goo 

Our next pain relief patch is of Asian roots, in which its creator, Solstice Medicine desires to marry the East and the West.

A part of their movement is offering Tianhe Guteng Tiegao Pain Relieving Patch - 10 Patches (2.75 x 4 in) Pack to the market. This pain relief patch has combined three (3) active ingredients camphor, capsicum and menthol to relieve pain.

Our testers believe that these three ingredients are effective for hours of pain relief. The effect of the patch is fast, where you can immediately feel its effect after placing the patch on the area. It also has a lasting effect that helps you relax from the pain even after hours since you’ve placed the patch.

Its size is the smallest in the review at 2.75 x 4 inches. Our testers have different experiences and view concerning its size. A minority of the testers think that compared to the other products on review, they enjoyed the benefits of the bigger-sized patches.

A majority of the testers think that the size is quite enough. They pointed out that they even cut it in half for the small areas in their body like the other products they tested. Thus, you need to take into account the size of the product with your required or preferred size.

Our testers can all concede that this pain relief patch sticks well on the skin. They’ve left it a few hours, and it is still in place. However, there have been reports that the adhesive of this patch can irritate is left too long. You need to follow the directions or consider the tolerance of your skin.

What We Liked

  • Fast relief
  • Long hours of relief
  • Good adhesive

What We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Relatively smaller

Salonpas patches catapulted the brand to leadership that is founded in the early 1900s. There has been several research and development of their products that led to the creation of the Salonpas Lidocaine 4% Pain Relieving Maximum Strength Gel-Patch.

This pain relief patch is different from the rest of the products as it uses lidocaine instead of capsicum, camphor and menthol from other products in the review.

If the menthol, camphor and capsicum produce coldness and warmth, the lidocaine has more of a numbing effect that dulls the pain or reduces itchiness. Thus, giving a different kind of sensation.

The testers like that the numbing sensation and pain reduction is deep and strong. It means that the medication can penetrate deeper into the pain and it is can be felt for hours.

Our testers believe that this valuable for those who experience stronger kinds of pain. Also, this gives more comfort in contrast the other four pain relief patches.

What they dislike with this pain relief patch is that it takes a bit of time to feel the effect of the medication. According to testers it does not take hours for the effect to be felt, it is just a little delayed compared to the other products in the review.

There were also reports that the adhesive is not very strong. It does not stick long to the skin. During the hands-on testing, the testers did not experience the patches falling off. They pointed out that this may be due to incorrect or improper application.

The size of the patch is relatively bigger. Our testers like that it is large to cover a good size of the back area or be wrapped around the legs and arms like the other products. 

What We Liked

  • Deep and strong numbing effect
  • Bigger patch size
  • Longer effect

What We Didn't Like

  • Takes time to feel effect
    Adhesive a bit weak

Tiger Balm is a household name that has been serving analgesic solutions for more than 100 years. A part of their century-long operations is the Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patch 5 Per Box.


This product has three (3) active ingredients, camphor, menthol and capsicum extract, which is similar to Tianhe Guteng Tiegao Pain Relieving Patch - 10 Patches (2.75 x 4 in) Pack.

Like the Tian Guteng, this product also has instant and deep relief. Once the patch is applied to the affected area, you can feel the coldness and warmth. In effect, there is fast relief that it drowns the pain keeping you comfortable.

Our testers also like that its relieving sensation lasts comparatively longer. You will benefit from its relief for more extended hours, which is especially beneficial if you have lasting pain.

One thing that the testers dislike with this pain relief patch is the adhesive quality. Unlike the other products, the patch adhesive is not very strong. There are times when the testers have to repeatedly push the patch to the skin to keep it in place.

According to the testers, this can be problematic because it will defeat the purpose of having a long-lasting relieving effect. Also, it adds discomfort to the users of having to rearrange the patch on the skin.

Its size is not as big as others in the review. In fact, it is among the smallest of the five products. A few of the testers deemed that this can be disadvantageous most notably when the pain is at the back of the user. The size is suited for smaller areas like the feet and the arms. 

What We Liked

  • Fast-acting relief
  • Effect seems to last long
  • Deep sensation effect

What We Didn't Like

  • Adhesive seems weak
  • Smaller patch size

For the fifth product on our list is the Icy Hot Extra Strength Medicated Patch, Large. Similar to the Bengay Ultra Strength, Pain Relieving Patch, this pain relief patch also contains 5% menthol that is responsible for providing relief.

Upon opening the product, the first thing that you will observe is the relatively strong scent of the menthol. However, when applied to the skin, the odor does not seem to be very strong. The testers said that this is not very worrisome.

Another feature that the testers like with this product are that it is not wet unlike the other products on review. It is dry that you might initially think that it cannot provide the cold therapy.

Its direction said to pop then apply on the skin. It is only then that you feel the coldness. This feature is less messy compared to other products in the review.

The coldness is also immediate and strong seeming that there is deep absorption. That is, when you put on the patch, you can instantly feel the cold to relieve you from pain.

One drawback of the product that our tester have noted is that it does not last long. In contrast to other products in the review, this pain relief patch has lesser longevity.

If you use it overnight, it might help you sleep for hours without the pain. However, it the pain in a bit serious like some of the testers’ experience, they have to get up and change patches. Thus, you also need to consider this, especially if you have to use it regularly.

The size of the Icy Hot Extra Strength Medicated Patch, Large is among the biggest in this bunch. The testers enjoyed that it can be placed in the back and can cover a significant area. 

What We Liked

  • Effect is fast
  • Dry
  • Satisfying absorption

What We Didn't Like

  • Comparatively lesser longevity
  • Strong odor for some


Our Recommendations ​

Editor’s Choice

Having to choose from the five product is difficult, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. For this review, we chose Bengay Ultra Strength Pain Relieving Patch, Large Size as the Editor’s Choice.

The pain relief patch gives the needed relief for the affected area and which lasted for hours. This performance makes it a competitive product as it serves the purpose of the patch. Its effect is also immediate that you don’t have to endure the pain.

Also, it is advantageous that the size has enough coverage. So, you can place it on different parts of the body.



First Runner-Up

We then have Tianhe Guteng Tiegao Pain Relieving Patch - 10 Patches (2.75 x 4 in) Pack as our First Runner-Up. This pain relief patch, like the Editor’s Choice, can provide excellent relief from the pain with triple active ingredients. It likewise gives extended hours of comfort.

Its scoring is very close to Bengay Ultra Strength. However, from the deliberation, this pain relief patch is relatively smaller that it can treat a small part of the body.



Second Runner-Up

Our Second Runner-Up provides a different kind of relief. The Lidocaine of the Salonpas Lidocaine 4% Pain Relieving Maximum Strength Gel-Patch 6ct (Pack of 2) numbs the pain. It gives comfort to the user for hours making it perfect for overnight use. The numbing sensation is quite powerful that users can forget that they are in pain.

This pain relief patch is not chosen for the top spots because its effect is not immediate. The user has to endure a little longer for the numbness to take effect.

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About the Author

Walter J. Farrell is an accountant who is very passionate about sharing his knowledge on high tech gadgets. He started AuthorityAdviser to help people know more about the products that are currently a hit in the market.

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